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Thursday, 26 November 2015 (3073174)
Thai fighter Craig wins comeback bout
by Tom Martin

A MARTIAL arts fighter who came out of retirement to inspire local children in Netherton has won his eagerly-awaited bout.

Craig Edwards, 37, traveled the world when he was younger to face off against Thai fighters from different countries.

He first got into the sport as a 16-years-old when he used to “hang around the streets” of Netherton but began training and took an instant liking to martial arts.

After 28 fights, Craig took the difficult decision to retire two years ago but decided to fight one last time to inspire modern-day teenagers who, like himself when he was that age, are hanging on the streets.

He hopes that it can prompt others to look into martial arts and get involved in the sport.

Craig therefore went to battle last month with a Jersey-born fighter called Jake Brookfield and the pair fought at a club in Liverpool called Omnia.

His partner, Cathy McCartney said: “The support from the local community was amazing and obviously so was the result for Craig who did so well.”

Last year, Craig decided to open up his own gym in Pendle Estate, which was initially targeted at adults looking to get into martial arts.

However, it became apparent very quickly that it was instead attracting the attention of youngsters, and Craig decided to encourage them to keep coming back.

When training for his most recent fight, he even opened the gym so local children could come and watch his fitness sessions.

Cathy added: “Craig grew up around here and like a lot of others, used to hang around the street because there wasn't much to do.

”Last year he decided to open a gym in the estate which was always his dream. Over the last 12 months it has been really popular with younger people.

“There has been a lot of interest and parents have come up to us and said how much it has helped their child since he started coming here.

”The gym seems to be getting busier and busier. Craig is taking 15 of them to a fight at Broadway Social Club which will be great for them.“


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